The guide to selling your home privately in South Africa

The guide to selling your home privately in South Africa

Private Property South Africa
Tahir Desai

A home sale is likely to be the largest financial transaction you undertake in your personal capacity. With so much at stake, selling your home is understandably intimidating and stressful.

Our “How to” guide on selling your property privately in South Africa will relieve some of the stress by providing you with all the help and information that you need.

At the outset, it is important for you to identify why you are selling and what you want to achieve from the sale. Is it to upgrade, downscale or for financial reasons? This will help you understand your time frames and how negotiable you are.

In order for you to sell your property quickly and for the best price possible you need to follow these steps.

1. Decide whether you want to sell using an agent or privately

Sellers have a choice between using an estate agent to market their property or selling privately. There are benefits to using both and it is up to the buyer to decide which option to take. Selling privately has an obvious cost benefit and puts you in control of the selling process. You get to decide who to show the property to and when to allow buyers access to your home. You, as the seller, also have intimate knowledge about the home’s history and the area, and will be able to add value to the buyer. Sellers should however have some knowledge of the property market and decent negotiation skills if they decide to go down this route. .

2. Determine the correct selling price for your property

Pricing your home correctly is crucial when putting your property on the market. A property that is badly priced will take longer to sell than one that offers fair market value. You would need to do your research and get to know the local market inside out. Buyers can ask an agent to provide a comparative market analysis – a list of similar properties sold in the area, research asking prices for similar properties on Private Property or purchase a report from a property research company like Lightstone. Once you have the information required, you can set your asking price.

Here are some factors that influence a property’s price

3. Get your home ready for sale

Once you’ve decided that you want to sell, you should try to get your home in tip top shape. A well-maintained home will stand out from other properties for sale and create a better impression on buyers. Tend to any repairs and maintenance issues like leaky taps, faulty switches and broken windows. These obvious flaws will put buyers off or encourage them to try to negotiate you down because of them.

Homestaging is the art of dressing up your home to improve your chances of a sale. In essence, you “dress up” your home to highlight its best characteristics. This could involve minor tweaks like rearranging the furniture and decluttering to repainting and renovating.

Homes that are well presented and well maintained typically sell faster than those that are not.

Here are a few tips on getting your home ready to sell

4. Advertise your property

Studies show that over 80% of property searches today begin online, so a good property website should be a key part of your property marketing strategy. Private Property offers a host of features to showcase your property effectively.

Homes advertised for sale on Private Property are online for 6 months and have a gallery of 24 photos to show your property off from every angle. Buyers that are interested in property in your area will be sent a notification by email or SMS as soon as the property goes live.

Video is the hottest way to market property right now and Private Property offers sellers the option of having a High Definition property video done by our media technicians. As a bonus, the video technician will also take HD images of the property.

You can tap into your social media circle by easily sharing your Private Property listing on any social media platform.

5. Choose a conveyancer

As the seller, you need to choose a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal work to transfer ownership of the property to you. Private Property will put you in touch with trusted conveyancing attorneys in your area to help with your property sale.

You should decide which firm you want to use before you agree the sale of your house. They will be able to supply you with the relevant paperwork like an offer to purchase, and with any legal advice that you may require.

Find an expert conveyancing attorney in your area here

6. Conduct viewings of your home

Interested buyers will be in touch to view your home. You can decide whether to host a show day or appointment-only viewings. If you decide to host a show day, we will send out a show day notification to our database of buyers to promote it. We can also supply show day boards for the outside of your property. Appointment only viewings pose fewer security risks and are easier to manage but would mean that your home would need to be show ready at any time.

Regardless of which option you choose, it is important to take precautions like ensuring you are not alone, locking away valuables and turning away anyone that you feel is suspicious.

Here are a few tips for staying safe on show days

7. Finalise the house sale

By now you will have started receiving offers on your property. A buyer who wants to buy your property will have to sign an offer to purchase. Once the document is signed by both buyer and seller it becomes a legally binding sales agreement.

Your conveyancing attorney will be able to provide you with the offer to purchase document and will be able to advise you on the legalities of the process. The offer to purchase document should include the property description, the purchase price, occupational rent amount and occupation date, special conditions and any other relevant information.

Read this article on completing the offer to purchase document.

Once the sales agreement has been signed and completed, it is submitted to the conveyancing attorney who will handle all the paperwork from here on. The attorney will complete various tasks and liaise with various people in order to get the property transferred from your name to the buyers.

This is what you can expect your conveyancing attorney to do for you

The process of transferring a property can take up to 3 months. At the end of the process, the property is registered in the buyer’s name and the conveyancing attorney ensures you receive the proceeds of the sale.

What do I do next, if I want to sell my property privately?

If you decide to sell your property privately, Private Property has a selection of listing packages for you to choose from.

Click here to view Private Sales Packages


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